WATCH ALABAMA INAUGURATION: Gov. Kay Ivey, Other Elected Leaders Sworn into Office
Gov. Kay Ivey and other state leaders took their oath of office in front of the Alabama Capitol Monday morning. Live coverage was provided on WAKA 8 and ABC 32.
Ivey is the first Republican woman to be governor. She is starting her second full term, after becoming governor in April 2017, when then-Gov. Robert Bentley resigned and as lt. governor, she took office.
Others who were sworn in were Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, Attorney General Steve Marshall, State Auditor Andrew Sorrell, Secretary of State Wes Allen, State Treasurer Young Boozer and Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Rick Pate. Also, Public Service Commissioners Jeremy Oden and Chip Beeker as well as four members of the state school board took their oaths.
Of that group, the new leaders are Sorrell as state auditor, replacing Jim Zeigler, and Wes Allen as secretary of state, replacing John Merrill. Zeigler and Merrill served two terms and were not eligible to seek a third term due to term limits.
Many of those giving speeches referred to the state motto “We Dare Defend Our Rights” as they drew a contrast between the faith and family values of those in Alabama compared to the social change that is happening in other parts of the country.
Ivey said Alabama’s people are our greatest resource, both in days good and challenging. She said when she took the oath at her 2019 inaugural, she could not have imagined what was to come, with the pandemic leading to unprecedented federal government spending which has brought on inflation.
As for social change, she says in a year that elected her as governor and Katie Britt as the state’s first female elected to the U.S. Senate, that they would have to fight to have girls compete fairly in sports.
Ivey says the state will never compromise its values.
She gave a list of issues that have been addressed in her first term, or are continuing to be addressed, including repair work on roads and bridges, prison reform, mental health, education, broadband, tax cuts, unemployment and business investments. Those investments total $40 billion, she said, with the creation of more than 73,000 jobs.
Looking ahead, she says education will be her #1 priority, with a goal of getting Alabama into the top 30 of states in reading and math. She says Alabama will take part in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide books regularly for each child from the time they’re born through age five.
She says it’s the parents who are to decide what’s best for their children, mentioning school choice and charter schools as options.
Ivey says failing elementary schools will no longer be accepted. She says she will sign an executive order creating the Alabama Commission on Teaching and Learning to recruit and prepare the teachers of tomorrow.
Other topics on her to-do list are to tighten up government, expand broadband to every part of the state, to support law enforcement and the military, which includes the Space Command in Huntsville and the F-35s coming to Montgomery, and continuing economic development strategies for the 2030s today.
Ivey said, “It is the highest honor of my life to be your governor.” She is 78 years old and will serve until January 2027, when her second term will end and due to term limits, a new governor will take the oath.
FULL INAUGURATION CEREMONY:
GOV. KAY IVEY INUGURATION ADDRESS: